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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Safety tops Christmas list for base officials

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | December 3, 2015

Before parents shop and mark off purchased gifts on their children’s Christmas lists, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany safety officials recommended visiting the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website, www.cpsc.gov, for the latest updates and information on toy recalls.

For example, as recently as Dec. 2, Felt Bicycles recalled the 2015 Felt Double Double 30, NINEe 20 and Edict 1 mountain bicycles. The carbon seat post originally sold with the bicycle can crack and break, posing injury and fall hazards to the rider, according to the website, www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2016/Felt-Bicycles-Recalls-Mountain-Bikes-with-OEM-Carbon-Fiber-Seatposts/.

Cathy Brannon, lead safety specialist, Risk Management, MCLB Albany, wants to remind everyone to think about safety before buying presents.

While receiving toys and gifts is meant to be fun and entertaining, they can pose several different safety risks, including death,” Brannon said. “When shopping, adults should pay more attention to and read the safety and warning labels.”

According to Brannon, adults also should make sure toys, especially for younger children, are approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials, are non-flammable, non-toxic, washable/hygiene safe, not choking hazard and free from small parts and age recommendations.

Adults often make a mistake of buying gifts and toys not in a child’s age recommendation thinking the toys will last longer or if the child is a fast learner, he or she will be able to handle it, she noted.

“As parents, grandparents, guardians and caregivers, we should do our part to learn and teach our children the importance of toy safety,” Brannon said.

Brannon recommended several tips for adults to remember when purchasing toys for children:

1. If buying a bicycle, purchase a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads to avoid injuries when a child falls.

2. Avoid toys with tiny parts, if a child is under age 3. 

3. Examine toys, if possible, for pointed edges and easy-to-break parts.

4. Consider buying a small toy tester or use a center cardboard roller from a toilet paper or paper towel roll to ensure a toy does not pose a choking hazard. If a toy fits through the center of a cardboard roller, it poses a choking hazard. Considering the age and maturity of a child, this should determine whether or not to purchase a toy or gift.

5. Avoid toys with strings, straps or cords longer than 7 inches because this may pose a strangulation hazard.

6.  Choose games that meet a child’s abilities, age and interest.

7. Avoid cap guns. The caps can be ignited by the slightest friction and cause serious burns.

8. Look for quality in design and construction when buying toys.

9.  Make recommendations to family members and friends about toys and gifts appropriate for a child.

Although the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported a decline in toy recalls in the past few years, there were an estimated 251,800 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2014, according to the Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries calendar year 2014 report.

Of the 11 reported toy-related deaths to the CPSC staff in 2014, all were children younger than 12 years old, according to the website, www.cpsc.gov/Global/Research-and-Statistics/Injury-Statistics/Toys/ToyReport2014.pdf.

For more information, visit the website, http://onsafety.cpsc.gov/blog/2015/11/19/3-toy-tips-to-keep-your-child-safe-this-holiday-seasonand-all-year-long/.